Skip to main content

Jim Mattis
  Defense Secretary Mattis on Niger Ambush  CSPAN  October 19, 2017 5:25pm-5:34pm EDT

5:25 pm
nation all around the world that don't have to do anything. when i was a kid, every man in my life that was a veteran, new the drill. these young people today, do not do it for any other reason than their sense of senseless -- selfless devotion to this great nation. you will never experience the wonderful joy you get in your things ouryou do the servicemen and servicewomen are doing. not for any other reason than they love our country. just think about that and i do appreciate your time. >> [indiscernible] >> did the president authorized the mission, general kelly?
5:26 pm
>> [indiscernible] it a littlelk about more broadly. first of all, our condolences to the families of the soldiers that we lost. i want to say that we honor our troops, every one of them. every life is critical. went past theople political rhetoric and signed up and volunteered for the armed forces. part of the 1% willing to do so in our country. these young men and women. we have been engaged with the french and african forces in the had forhd region -- c some time to throw isis and the radicals and those that foment instability and murder and
5:27 pm
mayhem. the french for example retained over 4000 troops down there and we maintain a little over 1000 in support. mostly, we are providing refueling support, intelligent support, and surveillance support. we also have troops on the ground. their job is to help the people in the region learn how to defend themselves. we call it "foreign internal training. we do these types of missions through and with our allies. the loss of our troops is under investigation. we in the department of defense like to know what we are talking about before we talk. we do not have all of the accurate information yet and we will release it as rapidly as we get a. we are very proud of our troops. we investigate any time we have our troops killed, whether in
5:28 pm
training accidents or combat. i don't care if it is in a car accident. in dod, we investigate the circumstances around it and address the very questions that you brought up -- what can we do in the future? at the same time, war is war and these terrorists are conducting war on innocent people of all religions. they are conducting war on innocent people who have no way to defend themselves. i will just tell you that in this specific case, contact was considered unlikely but there is a reason that we have u.s. army soldiers there and not the peace corps. we carry guns. it is a reality. part of the danger that our troop face in these areas of terrorist campaigns. remember, we do these types of missions by, through, and with our allies. it is at times dangerous. we have been unapologetic about standing i our allies.
5:29 pm
certainly, the french, with 4000 troops have been engaged down there for many years and has lost many more troops. this is an example of how seriously we take this mission that we put our troops in that position. any time that we commit our troops anywhere, it is based on answering the simple first question and that is -- is the well-being of the american people sufficiently enhanced by becauseour troops there we put our troops in a position to die? that is the number one question that we answer before making a recommendation to the president. someould make having seen news reports, the u.s. military does not need our troops behind and i would ask that you not question the actions of the troops caught in the firefight questioning if they did everything they could in order to bring everybody out at once. and i would also ask you not to
5:30 pm
confuse your need for accurate information with our ability to provide it immediately. in a situation like this. the french response included armed fighter aircraft, armed helicopter we did have a contract aircraft that was lifted out and killed in action. one was killed by nationals, and they would endeavor to get the body back to us three of a full investigation is underway, the sort of domestic -- back to us. a full investigation is underway, the sort of investigation where we will update you when we have accurate information. need to stand together united in this country when these heart-wrenching times hit. thank you.
5:31 pm
>> [inaudible] or adding additional protective measures? -- broadly [inaudible] secretary mattis: as far as the stance we take, the tactical effort we take, i don't telegraph that. i don't want to tell the enemy what we are doing, so i would prefer not to answer that. we honor our fallen in america. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. right now, senators are working on the 2018 audit resolution. the legislation would assume $5
5:32 pm
trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, with the congressional budget office saying the plan would cut the deficit in half at that time. senators have been working on amendments all day. final passage vote is expected late tonight. >> mr. tillis? announcer: tonight, former president barack obama campaigns for former democratic lieutenant governor ralph northam. live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> close your eyes for a moment, and stretch. close your eyes. i see you. trust me, empathy. and i want you to stretch your imagination.
5:33 pm
[sound of car crash] eyes.our that's how fast it happens. sunday night, executive director of paralyzed veterans of america sherman jr. talks about his own paralysis and his help toward paralyzed vets. >> this is what i see from a policy perspective, from an advocate's perspective, you have to empathize. that is what will make the ada the ideal divider for veterans. -- provider for veterans. at 8:00 p.m.nday eastern, on c-span's "q&a." c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 19 79, c-span was created